Image: Steve DiBenedetto, I, Robot, 2015
Collection of Molly and William Rand, New York
Ridgefield, CT (September 2015): In a career that spans three decades, Steve DiBenedetto has established himself as an idiosyncratic artist who has brought the pursuit of painting into the unpredictable chaos and flux that categorize the Postmodern world.
DiBenedetto’s first major solo museum exhibition, Evidence of Everything, will be on view at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum from November 15, 2015, through April 3, 2016, as part of the Painting in Four Takes exhibition series.
The artist has consistently rejected formalism throughout an era where both formal and conceptual approaches to painting have become de rigueur, taking a position where the canvas and the act of painting initiate a site for struggle, invention, and, ultimately, reinvention. Utilizing an inventory of leitmotifs, including the helicopter, octopus, wheel, and glass office tower, DiBenedetto paints and repaints his subjects in states of apocalyptic trauma where content and technique become unified, while the boundaries between the objective and subjective become uncertain. The artist’s work has prophetic, philosophical, and mystical undercurrents, with imagery often forming geometric webs or mandala-like vortices that tear themselves apart only to recongeal in thick, spectral passages of paint. Through his work, DiBenedetto has cast himself as a kind of baroque symbolist, working in the deep tradition of European Romanticism, with his excesses tempered by a terrible, yet transcendental beauty. “You never know what is enough,” wrote William Blake, “unless you know what is more than enough.” Marked by both foresight and revelation, DiBenedetto’s painting exists in a continuum that flows from Blake to speculative novelist William Gibson. The exhibition will include works from 1997 to the present with a focus on the past five years.
Steve DiBenedetto: Evidence of Everything has been organized by Aldrich exhibitions director Richard Klein.
Painting in Four Takes
Steve DiBenedetto: Evidence of Everything is part of Painting in Four Takes, a series of solo exhibitions that will provide a window into the practices of four engaging painters who imbue the medium with relevance and character. In addition to DiBenedetto, Hayal Pozanti, Julia Rommel, and Ruth Root will be featured. On view from November 15, 2015, through April 3, 2016, the exhibitions will mark the first time in over twenty years that The Aldrich has dedicated all of its galleries to painting.
The last one hundred years have witnessed the explosion of virtually every available means and medium in the service of art making, yet painting has not only maintained a central position in visual art, but has also adapted creatively to rapid changes in our culture as a whole. Today, painting is embedded in the broad debate
of actual vs. virtual, and its ability to balance what is illusive and what is real, what is tactile and what is optical, and what is emotive and what is formal, providing fertile ground for a diverse range of artists.
“While some point to marketability as the basis for the unwavering position of painting as a leading visual arts medium, for many artists, painting provides the most relevant platform for expression, allowing for both the potential of innovation and deep historical continuity,” says Richard Klein, The Aldrich’s exhibitions director.
Aldrich curator Amy Smith-Stewart explains, “The four artists selected span generations, methods, and intentions, but all are deeply entrenched in what painting is and can be in the image-dominated atmosphere of our twenty-first century.”
The public are invited to a free reception celebrating the four exhibitions from 2 to 5 pm on Sunday, November 15.
Steve DiBenedetto was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1958. He has exhibited widely, including recent shows with Derek Eller Gallery, New York; Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles; David Nolan Gallery, New York; Half Gallery, New York; and a two person exhibition with Terry Winters at National Exemplar, New York. His work is in the permanent collections of the American Academy of Arts and Letters; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Also an accomplished drummer, DiBenedetto’s band, Bob Carol Ted, performed in Venice during the 2015 Venice Biennale.
Founded by Larry Aldrich in 1964, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is dedicated to fostering the work of pioneering artists whose interpretations of the world around us serve as a platform to encourage creative thinking. The Aldrich is one of the few independent, non-collecting contemporary art museums in the United States and the only museum in Connecticut devoted to contemporary art, and engages its diverse audiences with thought-provoking, interdisciplinary exhibitions and programs.
The Museum’s education and public programs are designed to connect visitors of all ages to contemporary art through innovative learning approaches in hands-on workshops, tours, and presentations led by artists, curators, Museum educators, and experts in related fields. Area schools are served by curriculum-aligned on-site and in-school programs, as well as teachers’ professional development training.
Generous support for Steve DiBenedetto: Evidence of Everything is provided by Patrons Circle contributors David Nolan Gallery, Alvin Hall, Melvin and Helen Heller, Brooke and Daniel Neidich, Anna and Martin Rabinowitz, and Sara and John Shlesinger.
The Aldrich, in addition to significant support from its Board of Trustees, receives contributions from many dedicated friends and patrons. Major funding for Museum programs and operations has been provided by the Department of Economic and Community Development, Connecticut Office of the Arts; the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation; the William Randolph Hearst Foundation; the Leir Charitable Foundations; The Goldstone Family Foundation; the Anne S. Richardson Fund; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc.; The Coby Foundation; JoyRide Ridgefield; Newman’s Own Foundation; the SAHA Association; Fairfield Fine Art; The Cowles Charitable Trust; The Gage Fund; Fairfield County Bank; Fairfield County’s Community Foundation; Ridgefield Education Foundation; and Cohen and Wolf.
HamletHub; TownVibe, publishers of Ridgefield Magazine; and WSHU Public Radio are the official media sponsors of The Aldrich in 2015.
For additional information and images, please contact:
Kris Honeycutt The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum firstname.lastname@example.org 203.438.4519, extension 125